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Half of organizations exposed to data security risk in new world of work


One in two (53%) organizations are exposed to undue data security risk thanks to current procedures and processes with HR technology, according to a report released by Thomsons Online Benefits.

Based on a poll of 542 global HR leaders at organizations of 5,000-50,000+ employees, the survey says that four in five (84%) IT leaders report that data loss prevention is more challenging with a remote workforce.

Thomsons’ research suggests that HR leaders are opting for simplicity over security, with 71% accessing their benefits data through general HR software, and 78% using Excel to collect and analyze employee data. While 73% of HR leaders report that they can easily transfer data between their HR systems and benefits providers, it’s also clear that this approach exposes to them to undue risk associated with data errors and security breaches.

What’s more, simplicity does not equal speed. 55% of respondents spend over 11 hours manually transferring data between systems, with one in five (20%) spending over 15 hours on this. Just 7% avoid manual data transfer completely.

According to Chris Bruce, co-founder and MD, Thomsons Online Benefits, business leaders’ reliance on “outdated data collection and analytics tools opens their organizations up to risk at a time when the ramifications are considerable. Notwithstanding potentially huge financial penalties, failure to comply with regulation damages a business’ bottom line, breaks employee trust and has an astronomical reputational impact.”

However, throwing money at the problem does not necessarily give way to a solution. HR teams are struggling to realize the potential of technology investment, purchasing disjointed systems that create silos. These can actually give HR teams more work to do, as they need to make sense of all the data. Indeed, it’s those who allocate more than 60% of their HR budget to technology who spend over 15 hours every month manually transferring data.

“In particular, investing in centralized systems that are interconnected, will demonstrate value and help to unlock further investment,” said Chris Bruce.

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